Wedding cake trends include creative construction
With three decades and counting in the cake decorating field, Dawn Trammell, owner of Luscious Crumb, has seen shortening replaced with butter, butter cream replaced by fondant and elaborate designs give way to simple or whimsical ones….
Posted: Friday, May 4, 2012 4:00 am | Updated: 11:36 am, Thu May 10, 2012.
With three decades and counting in the cake decorating field, Dawn Trammell, owner of Luscious Crumb, has seen shortening replaced with butter, butter cream replaced by fondant and elaborate designs give way to simple or whimsical ones.
Among the places Trammell has worked in the cake decorating field are Dallas and Sherman, as well as East Texas.
“I do a lot of weddings,” she said. Throw in some tablescapes and catering and you can see this is a busy lady. She and her helpers, that include her two daughters, make cakes or cupcakes in 75 different flavors. It is hard to know which verb to use, bake, create and construct are all accurate. Trammell has her own set of tools at her store that include a saw and a hammer.
The number of flavors is constantly growing, with two new types being debuted that day. One was Almond Joy, the other Orange Pineapple. The sample offered proved the Orange Pineapple true to its name and did not disappoint.
“I want to get to 101 (flavors),” she said.
Cupcake towers of varying volume are on her itinerary, as well as anything original. She shows her book of cakes which displays photos of many original creations, including a curvacious bovine.
“A lady came to me and said she wanted to do something for her husband. He breeds cows for a living,” she said. “I asked her `How about a sexy cow?’” The customer loved it and that’s how the sexy cow cake with flirty eyelashes of fondant came into being.
Anyone who’s ever seen some of the baking shows on the Food Network has seen that fondant is being sculpted into the most unexpected things for cakes. Trammell describes it as “basically like edible Playdough.” With it come rounded corners on cakes and the ability to create as many characters as the mind can imagine.
Speaking of the Food Network, Trammell’s business is “in the running” for the TV show “Cupcake Wars” and last week they were preparing the second video that was requested as they were being considered.
Wedding celebrations seem to be the centerpiece of the business and through the decades, Trammell said there have been many changes in styles. In the early days, buttercream was “the frosting of choice.” She said that the name was deceiving, that shortening was usually used in it instead of butter.
“Now people are more health conscious,” she said. Quickly, she added, “that in now way implies that what we do is healthy.” But, the butter delivers a much nicer flavor and is considered somewhat healthier than trans-fat loaded shortening.
“It is such a good choice because of the butter flavor,” she said.
Now the style has shifted to fondant, which can be rolled out to a quarter of an inch. It is very workable and holds up well in heat and humidity. “It’s really thick and really sweet.” She’s been told that her fondant seems to taste better than others’. “I don’t really know how it could,” she said, because she uses the same fondant as others, but she does put a layer of buttercream under the fondant. The only downfall is the pliable icing is “really thick and really sweet.”
Another new option is wafer paper. Designs can be run from a baker’s computer onto the special paper and transferred to icing resulting in “very sharp kind of art you can’t do with frosting.” Trammell uses it for scrolls and similar artwork.
Another of the types of things that has changed is the stacked construction with which people traditionally used pillars and fountains. “A lot of that has gone by the wayside.”
Today’s designs incorporate “lots of polka dots, ribbons and flowers – fresh and silk.” This is an advantage too, because the same flowers from bouquets and decorations can be used, and it usually costs less than the time-consuming frosting flowers.
“The sky’s the limit” when it comes to today’s wedding and even other cakes. For weddings, many have opted for simple and elegant or whimsical.
The trend also caters to the sweet tooth, as Trammell discusses all of the under-frosting details. Great lengths are gone to to make every component as edible as possible and in the end, today’s customers can proudly unveil the fanciful baked products while at the same time truly meaning, “Let them eat cake!”